Ventriculomegaly

Also known as: hydrocephalus

What is ventriculomegaly?

The ventricles of the brain are a communicating network of cavities (ventricles) deep in the brain consisting of two lateral cavities, a third ventricle, a communicating duct (cerebral aqueduct), and a fourth ventricle, all filled with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) which is produced by blood vessels (the choroid plexus) in the ventricles.
The brain floats in the CSF fluid surrounding it, and the CSF circulates through the ventricular and the spaces around the brain and the spinal cord, constantly being produced and absorbed.
Ventriculomegaly is a congenital (before birth) condition in which the ventricles of a fetus/baby are abnormally large.
 

What causes ventriculomegaly?

 Large ventricles result from either too little brain tissue surrounding them (because of poor brain development or brain injury) or because there is a block in the ventricular system preventing the CSF from leaving the ventricles or because there is an imbalance between CSF production and absorption (hydrocephalus).
 

What are the signs/symptoms of ventriculomegaly? 

Mild ventriculomegaly may have no signs or symptoms. If however the ventricles are large or increasing in size ( hydrocephalus), a rapidly growing large head, a full or bulging fontanel (soft spot at the top of the head), irritability or sleepiness, poor feeding, abnormal eye movement or always looking downward, projectile vomiting, and developmental delay.
 

What are ventriculomegaly care options?

 Ventriculomegaly may only need to be treated if there is hydrocephalus. Treatment of hydrocephalus usually involves creating a pathway (a shunt) for the excess fluid to flow out of the brain to another area of the body. Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) creates an opening out of the 3rd ventricle, and a combination of ETV and choroid plexus destruction may be used if other treatments are ineffective.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 6/12/2018 10:33:35 AM


Upcoming Events

2018 Pediatric Autism Symposium: Ensuring Long Term Outcomes in Children Birth to Five

This one day course will include educational sessions, case studies, and panel discussions that highlight evidence-based information for managing Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other related disabilities for children ages birth to 5.

Learn more and register

Communication and Feeding Difficulties in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

This class is offered to parents and caregivers of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Learn more and register

From the Newsdesk

Get your FREE Water Watcher Card here!
Prevent drowning and accidents when children are near water by assigning a responsible adult to wear a Water Watcher Badge. The badge wearer takes responsibility to supervise the children until hading off to the next water watcher. Available at selected urgent care centers while supplies last.
Daniella Celebrates her Ninth Birthday by Advocating for Children’s Health
On this very same day nine years ago, Daniella Alvarez was diagnosed Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor (ATRT), a rare and aggressive type of brain cancer. The news came on June 26, 2009, her second birthday. Daniella endured years of brain surgeries, aggressive chemotherapies, radiation, imaging scans, multiple visits to intensive care at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. She is now cancer free thanks to a pediatric clinical trial made possible through research funding.

Video

video
Reshma Naidoo, PhD of Nicklaus Children's Hospital is a pediatric neuropsychologist and neurorehabilitation speacialits with the Brain Institute.